Praise for A Hard Place to Leave Named one of Vogue's Best Books of 2022
Named one of Washington Post's Best Travel Books of 2022
” Marcia DeSanctis mines a lifetime of travel for this new collection of essays. That time lends depth that first impressions cannot touch….Along the way, DeSanctis encounters spies and love interests, but it’s her lushly polished writing that makes this book a joy to read”
– Washington Post
“The essays might be framed as travel writing, but they are just as much stories of self-definition that take place here, there, and everywhere.”
“DeSanctis writes fabulously, brutally and beautifully.”
The luminous essays of journalist Marcia DeSanctis’s A Hard Place to Leave juxtapose the restless search for elsewhere with longing for home….A Hard Place to Leave gathers memories from a restless, adventure-filled search for an elusive elsewhere.
– Starred, Foreword Reviews
“Dazzling….inspiring and beautifully written, A Hard Place to Leave is a must-read for any woman traveler—and a must-read for women in general”
“These probing, achingly beautiful essays form an indelible portrait of a life. Who is this woman with her many, at times contradictory, facets? She is an adventurer, journalist, wife, mother, daughter, her world set spinning by the brilliance of her mind, the tenacity of her love for her family, and the intensity of her longing to be anywhere but here. Through the very act of interrogating her own restlessness, Marcia DeSanctis provides us with a tantalizing window into a rich and singular world.”
—Dani Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of Inheritance“Never has a travel memoir put the ordinary and the extraordinary in such tight and revelatory conversation. A Hard Place to Leave brims over with intelligence and human truth. More than just a recounting of a life boldly and peripatetically lived, it’s a reckoning with the passage of time, with one’s own undying urges. I knew myself better by the end of this book, thanks to the fierce honesty and perpetual questing of Marcia DeSanctis.”
—Colleen Kinder, editor of Letter to a Stranger
“There is such honesty and feeling on every page of Marcia DeSanctis’s book—her avowal to push past the conventional boundaries of women’s lives, her rediscovery of travel and solitude, her celebration of family, friendship, and homecoming—that I felt delightedly transported and deeply inspired.”
—Jasmin Darznik, New York Times bestselling author of The Bohemians
On “Cold War Game Theory”:
The juxtaposition between the natural environment she traveled to see and the climate of suspicion and danger in the midst of political upheaval act as reminder of the omnipresent interconnection of disciplines, and their inevitable points of collision.”
“Marcia DeSanctis’s A Hard Place to Leave is perfumed with lush, luminous language as she sweeps us all across the globe. From Moscow to Cape Town, quiet New England to Sweden, these tender portraits grow on us like a spring garden.”
author of World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments
“To read this masterfully composed memoir is to better understand our beautiful, broken world, our complex tethers to home and fam- ily, and our own imperfect selves. DeSanctis is brilliantly attuned to the nuances of these subjects, and she navigates the hairpin turns between the three with breathtaking curiosity, elegance, wisdom, and generosity. The essays in A Hard Place to Leave are equal parts dark and luminous, ferocious and tender, universal and intImate—and the writing is some of the finest I’ve ever read in my whole damn life.
—Lavinia Spalding, author of Writing Away and editor of The Best Women’s Travel Writing
“Mountain climbing. Love affairs. Diplomats who may be spies, or love affairs, or both. Marcia DeSanctis’s travel essays are thought- ful, stylish, and loaded with charm. It’s the kind of book that goes great with a glass of wine and a strong dose of wanderlust.”
—Rosecrans Baldwin, author of Everything Now: Lessons From the City-State of Los Angeles
Marcia DeSanctis is a Contributing Writer at Travel + Leisure, and writes essays and stories for Vogue, Town & Country, Departures, BBC Travel, Air Mail, Creative Nonfiction, Lit Hub, Roads & Kingdoms and many other publications. She received the 2021 Grand Solas Award for Travel Story of the Year, wrote a New York Times bestselling book about France, and has received five Lowell Thomas Awards for excellence in travel journalism, including one for Travel Journalist of the Year. A graduate of Princeton University and The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, her book of essays, A Hard Place to Leave: Stories from a Restless Life, comes out in May, 2022.